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Peachtree Pine homeless shelter in Atlanta
Allison Guillory / WABE

The embattled Midtown Atlanta homeless shelter, Peachtree-Pine, will be closing its doors later this summer.

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On Aug. 28, the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless will be handing the building over to the downtown development group Central Atlanta Progress.

It's the conclusion of a years-long lawsuit between the two parties over a 2010 foreclosure on the building.

Atlanta City Workers Get Pay Raise, Minimum Wage Boost

8 minutes ago
Patrick Semansky / Associated Press

Many City of Atlanta employees are getting a pay raise and a hefty increase in the minimum wage.

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The Atlanta City Council on Wednesday approved a $648.6 million fiscal year 2018 budget that includes a three-percent salary increase for workers making between $41,000 and $150,000.

The minimum wage for municipal employees also is going up starting July 1, from $10.10 an hour to $13 an hour, then to $14 an hour for fiscal year 2019 and eventually to $15 by fiscal year 2020.

cover credit HarperCollins; photo credit Eva Blue

Novelist and “Bad Feminist” author Roxane Gay is out with a new book called “Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body.”

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In this deeply personal memoir, Gay writes about her complicated relationship with her weight and self-image, while drawing parallels to our larger cultural obsession with appearance and presence, especially when it concerns women.

Al Such / WABE

The new city of Stonecrest, in southeast DeKalb County, has hired a private company to run most of the city's operations. The Stonecrest City Council has approved a contract with CH2M to handle most municipal departments including parks and recreation, finance and information technology.

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The cost for the rest of this year: $1.7 million. That's more than half of Stonecrest's projected annual revenue of $3 million. But Mayor Jason Lary is confident there will be enough money.

Evan Jang / WABE

People experiencing food insecurity – not knowing where their next meal will come from – mostly live around downtown Atlanta and south of I-20.

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But that's changing. A new analysis finds that food insecurity will increase more quickly in the suburbs to the east and west as numbers decrease in-town.

Fulton County Commission Freezes Property Tax Assessments

Jun 21, 2017
Fulton County commissioners unanimously voted to rollback this year's property assessments for homeowners to 2016 levels.
Miranda Hawkins / WABE

Fulton County homeowners will get a reprieve on this year's property tax assessments.

 

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Fulton County commissioners voted unanimously on Wednesday to rescind 2017 property tax values. That's after the county attorney discovered an obscure 1881 law that gives the commissioners power to roll back property assessments.

 

Carter Library And Museum Unveils New Solar Energy System

Jun 21, 2017
La'Candis Brown / WABE

Former President Jimmy Carter's grandson Jason Carter led an intimate crowd of nearly 20 people onto the roof of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum on Tuesday, June 20 for the first viewing of the building's new solar energy system.

The solar photovoltaic system introduced is 116kW and consists of 324 solar panels on the roof of the building. The panels are projected to reduce the library's annual energy costs by $15,000. It replaces 7 percent of the library's power and could possibly fuel at least 13 homes.

Fenly Foxen / WABE

Tuesday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Rutherford County Sheriff's Office via AP

Two Georgia inmates accused of killing two prison guards during an escape from a prison bus last week face charges including murder.

Multiple news outlets report that Donnie Russell Rowe and Ricky Dubose appeared in Putnam County Superior Court on Wednesday. A judge told them they're charged with two counts of murder and one count each of felony escape and motor vehicle hijacking.

Gwinnett Commissioner Tommy Hunter Faces Public Reprimand

Jun 21, 2017
Adhiti Bandlamudi / WABE

Gwinnett County commissioners have voted to publicly reprimand Commissioner Tommy Hunter.

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The county's ethics board recommended last month that commissioners reprimand Hunter for calling Congressman John Lewis a "racist pig" on social media. More than 100 people turned out for a commission meeting Tuesday. Several spoke before the commission vote, including Rachel Theus, a Hunter constituent from Lilburn.

Fulton County Property Assessments Might Get A Rollback

Jun 20, 2017
Fulton County officials have searched for solutions to address this year's property assessment hikes that have residents concerned.
Miranda Hawkins / WABE

Fulton County's Board of Commissioners will vote Wednesday on whether or not to rescind this year's property assessments.

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Homeowners have been up in arms over spikes in their property values; some higher than 50 percent. These property assessments dictate how much people pay in taxes.

Fulton Commission Chairman John Eaves said his office found an obscure 1880's law that gives Fulton’s Board of Commissioners power to rescind property assessments.

Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena, vs. Brooklyn Nets, Jan. 28, 2015. Hawks won 113-102.
Alison Guillory / WABE

A $192.5 million renovation of Philips Arena, home of the Atlanta Hawks, has begun a day after funding was approved by the Atlanta City Council.

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About $110 million for the renovation will be generated from the car rental tax collected at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and other sites. An additional $32.5 million will come from the city's sale of Turner Field, the former home of MLB's Braves, to Georgia State University.

Elliott Minor / associated press file

A second suspect has been indicted in connection with the death of a Georgia teacher and former beauty queen who vanished nearly 12 years ago.

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Media outlets report a Ben Hill County grand jury on Monday indicted 32-year-old Bo Dukes on charges of concealing a death, tampering with evidence and hindering the apprehension of a criminal in 30-year-old Tara Grinstead's death.

MARTA Launches Its New Public Art Program

Jun 20, 2017
Adhiti Bandlamudi / WABE

MARTA is launching a program that might make its stations a little livelier. 

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The public transportation authority is kicking off its "ArtBound" program this year, which will bring static art and dance and music performances to stations across metro Atlanta. 

Keith Parker, MARTA's CEO, says this program could change up someone's commute and encourage other Atlantans to ride public transit. 

An infant grasps volunteer Kathleen Jones' hand in the neonatal intensive care unit at the University of Chicago's Comer Children's Hospital in Chicago on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014.
Martha Irvine / Associated Press

A group of more than 1,000 mothers has been organizing online to fight for more control over the way they give birth.

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Last month, some of them protested outside a local hospital that had changed its policies on certain kinds of delivery.

With a baby strapped to her chest, Ashley Brown juggles two hand-drawn signs outside DeKalb Medical Center. She’s down by a patch of grass near the road, but five months ago, she was inside, in labor.

Exterior shots of the Georgia Supreme Court
Alison Guillory / WABE

Georgia's highest court on Monday rejected a challenge to a state law banning most abortions after 20 weeks, saying the courts are barred from considering lawsuits against the state without the state's consent.

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The 2012 law bans doctors from performing abortions five months after an egg is fertilized, except when a fetus has a defect so severe it is unlikely to live. The law also makes an exception to protect the life or health of the mother, but not for cases of rape or incest.

A Look Inside LGBTQ Teen Homelessness In Atlanta

Jun 19, 2017
image taken from video courtesy of Vox Atlanta

Imagine not having a bed to sleep in every night, not having food to eat, not knowing when your next meal is or not having family who supports — let alone a family who loves you.

Imagine feeling like you have nothing.

Stephen Morton / associated press file

A historical marker was unveiled for a church in southeast Georgia.

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The Civil Rights Trail historical marker was unveiled for Savannah's First African Baptist Church, the Savannah Morning News reported. The memorization took place last week outside the church, which is one of the oldest continuously operating African-American churches in North America.

Former President Jimmy Carter speaks with WABE's Denis O'Hayer about his efforts to eradicate Guinea worm disease.
Alison Guillory / WABE

An auction raising money for the human rights organization founded by Jimmy Carter will include a four-poster bed designed by the former president.

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The annual event raises money for The Carter Center, which is based in Atlanta. The auction is part of a four-day retreat to be held this year near Lake Tahoe, California from Wednesday to Sunday.

Lawyers For I-85 Bridge Fire Suspect Claim Alibi At Hearing

Jun 16, 2017
Ada Montgomery / WABE

Lawyers for Basil Eleby, the homeless man accused of setting the fire that led to the I-85 overpass collapse in March, said Friday they have an eyewitness who can give Eleby an alibi. 

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Eleby was indicted in April for arson and criminal damage to property in the first degree. 

On Friday, Eleby had a status hearing, during which his lawyers stated they have a polygraph test, along with a witness, that can prove their client's innocence.

EBONI LEMON / WABE

Friday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Kaitlin Kolarik / WABE

Initial tests show suspicious letters sent to a Georgia congressional candidate, news outlets and others did not contain dangerous materials. But the FBI says authorities will conduct additional tests.

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In a statement Friday, the FBI said the envelopes contained a white powder. The statement says all the letters contained "threat-based content" but have tested negative for hazardous materials.

Stephannie Stokes / WABE

Downtown Atlanta has struggled for years with the perception that it’s not vibrant.

Now, a group of business leaders in the area hopes an ordinance before the Atlanta City Council on Monday will change that — by bringing in bright lights.

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Dario Lopez-Mills / Associated Press

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the parents of a Georgia teenager found dead at school inside a rolled-up gym mat.

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News outlets report that U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands filed an order Tuesday saying the parents of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson were negligent in filing paperwork to the court and in filing for extensions. As such, the court dismissed their claims against 39 defendants without prejudice.

Adhiti Bandlamudi / WABE

Some immigrant college students are fighting with Georgia's Board of Regents for the right to pay in-state tuition. They argued their case Thursday in front of the state Court of Appeals.

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Students under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are protected by an executive action from the Obama administration. Under that program, students have "lawful presence" in the United States. 

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation via AP

The end of the road for two inmates sought in the killings of their guards on a Georgia prison bus turned out to be a driveway in rural Tennessee where a homeowner held them at gunpoint until reinforcements arrived.

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The focus of the manhunt for Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose suddenly shifted north of the Georgia line Thursday evening after the fugitives invaded a home in Shelbyville and held a couple hostage for several hours.

 

Suspicious Package Sent To Handel’s Roswell Home, Neighbors

Jun 15, 2017
Kaitlin Kolarik / WABE

Karen Handel, the Republican candidate in Georgia's 6th Congressional District special election, said on Thursday that a package containing threatening letters and a suspicious substance were sent to her home and to her neighbors.

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Handel said in a statement that her street in Roswell was being blocked off while law enforcement investigates.

Georgia Department of Corrections via AP

Two escaped inmates sought in the killings of two guards on a prison bus in Georgia were captured Thursday in Tennessee, authorities said.

Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose were captured in Christiana, Tennessee, Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Nelly Miles said. She did not immediately release any more details of the capture.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said in a tweet Thursday evening that the two men were taken into custody after a car chase.

The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta is one of the first to show the movie, The Interview.
Molly Samuel / WABE file photo

The Atlanta Department of City Planning wants to give a special landmark status to several sites around the city.

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One is the Ponce de Leon Avenue shopping center, including the Plaza Theatre and the Majestic Diner. Built in 1938, the city said it was the first complex in Atlanta to offer off-street parking for visitors.

The Atlanta Urban Design Commission approved that nomination Wednesday, calling it a "no brainer." 

Georgia Department of Corrections via AP

The search for two Georgia inmates sought in the killing of their guards during an escape from a prison bus went into its third day Thursday and the scope of the manhunt is expanding. 

The reward for information leading to their arrest also grew Thursday to $130,000.

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Authorities do not know whether Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose are still in Georgia or still traveling together, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills told reporters Wednesday.

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